Saturday, July 24, 2021

COVID Fundraiser Series | Report on the Football Quiz

Quiz: General Quiz on Football 

Date & Time: 6 June 2021 at 1:30 pm

Venue: Zoom

QM: Ranajeet Soman


Jt 1st: Muddied Oafs (Rajiv Rai, Vinoo Sanjay, Brajendu Bhaskar) - 150 pts

Jt 1st: In the End, Cricket is the Winner (Prithwish Dutta, Deepanjan Deb, Sachin Deshpande) - 150 pts

Jt 1st: We believe in the cardboard (Aswath Venkataraman, Atulya Bharadwaj, Sandeep Narayan)  - 150 pts

4th: De Gea Dard (Abid Abdullah, Kunal, Shashwat Salgaoncar) - 140 pts

5th: Zulfiqar e Ingit (Anannya Deb, Venkatraghavan S, Venky Srinivasan) - 120 pts

6th: The Ball is Round - (Piyush Kedia, Kaniska Ghosh, Partha Ghatak) - 90 pts

6th: Remembrance of Things Fast (Srinath Bhashyam, Manu Sudhakar, Navin Rajaram) - 85 pts

8th: Boka Juniors (Jayashree Mohanka, Arnold D'Souza, Kinshuk Biswas) - 80 pts


Ranajeet Soman is not only one of the best football quizzers in the country, but also one of the most rounded gen quizzers. Over the years, we have come to expect questions from him which are accessible and general even on specialist topics of his bent (football, ghazals, history and .....the band Travis) - and this one was no different. 

The football quiz in it's third edition - this one was the most gen of the lot and also the one that went through the most turmoil in terms of actually taking place - with the pandemic screwing up plans for a proper Infest this year. 

The elims were light and breezy, the questions crisply and pithily framed. One didn't need much football knowledge to answer most of the questions, but most importantly all the questions were nicely clued and were entirely workoutable. In the end, we had a few sports gawds, but mostly general quizzers qualifying for the finals - a testament to how well made the elims was. 

The finals, carried on from there the elims took off. We had 28 questions on Infinite Rebounds (+ Pounce) and 6 questions through 2 written rounds (one on music and one on social causes in football). The finals took us on a tour of history, geography, films, entertainment, politics and many other topics - all with football at its background. The only negatives for me were that some of the questions in the final were too easy which became a bit of a free for all. Overall the quiz was run quite quickly as well - with the finals ending at a reasonable time of 5:30pm - which is a rarity in quizzes these days. 

On to the results, the quiz was very close with at least 3-4 teams constantly exchanging the lead. We ended with an amazing 3 way tie on the last question - which was an exciting end to an excellent quiz.  

Unfortunately Rana has taken the wrong kind of inspiration from Suraj Menon - and told us this was his last football quiz, but we hope he will, like Suraj, come back and do several more quizzes over the years. 

COVID Fundraiser Series | Report on the General Quiz

Quiz: Magnum Dopus a.k.a. One Last Quiz (i.e., the General Quiz)
Date & Time: 19 July 2021 at 1:30 pm
Venue: A series of tubes (a.k.a the QM's and participants various homes, connected via Zoom)
QM: Suraj Menon

Winners: WIMWI Manran (Rajiv Rai, Srinath Bashyam and Aniket Khasgiwale) - 210 pts
Runners Up: Can We Answer Now? (Navin Rajaram, Santosh Swaminathan, Preetham Upadhya) - 195 pts
3rd: Kunal's Nexus (Venkatesh Srinivasan, Ranajeet Soman, Kunal Sawardekar) - 185 pts
4th: Prisoni (Souvik Guha, Prithwish Datta, Nikhil Sonde) - 170 pts
5th: UNESCOVID (Atulaa, Bhargava, Varun) - 165 pts
6th: Matunga Manram - (Balakrishnan S, Rushi Anandan, Vinoo Sanjay) - 150 pts
6th: Vast Deferens (Abhinav, Jayant, Shaswat) - 150 pts
8th: Passing Faiz (Shashank, Abhijit) - 100 pts


Every so often, India's quizzing scene is riven by talk of the last ever quiz by Suraj Menon. The joy at attending another one of these excellently put-together quizzes soon fades into melancholy that another such will never be experienced, until another such announcement of the last ever Suraj Menon quiz starts the cycle anew. This complex interplay of emotions was in evidence during Sunday's proceedings, only to be undercut by the fact that even the Great Man himself has begun nodding to the finality of these proceedings being somewhat exaggerated.

The quiz began with a 30-question elimination round. A fun, accessible set of questions (the cut-off was 33 out of a possible 39 points) the elims started with a rather timely question on a phrase familiar to Punekars, and tested participants' knowledge of everything from the logistics of operating railway services in the Andes to Telugu remakes of John Landis' oeuvre. WIMWI Manram topped the elims with 34 points and 10 stars.

The finals had 30 questions on IR with 4 written rounds with 3 questions each. 3 of the written rounds were nicely done tributes to the subjects of the previous three quizzes in the BCQC's COVID relief series - Football, Food and India. The fourth written round was on rhyming phrases, another nice touch by the QM. The IR rounds again covered a great breadth of topics - from East African building practices, to botanical appreciation for Sichuanese mercantile innovations, to anchovy fisheries in the Eastern Pacific. Yet it was apparent that effort had been taken to make the questions workable and no question went unanswered by the finalists.

The quiz remained competitive throughout, with WIMWI Manram and Can We Answer Now? trading the lead back and forth through the quiz. Can We Answer Now? pulled 15 points clear of their challengers after the last written round, but WIMWI did some stellar answering in the final stage of the quiz and leveled the score as we went into the very last question. Said question, which asked for an ornithologically named Pune neighborhood (to bookend the Pune questions in the quiz) was answered correctly by WIMWI. Unfortunately, Can We Answer Now? took an aerobridge to nowhere on the pounce and got a -5, thus giving a clear result to the quiz.

In the end, fun was had by all, especially the participants and audience who got to enjoy a great quiz while simultaneously ribbing Suraj gently over his well-publicized aversion to questions regarding particular nominal words and the information contained in the length of blanks. We eagerly await the next last quiz.

Friday, July 23, 2021

COVID Fundraiser Series | Report on the India Quiz

Quiz: India Quiz 
Day, Date, Time: Saturday, 17th July 2021, 1.30pm
Venue: The quiz was conducted over Zoom
Elims (30 questions) + Finals (42 Questions with 30 IR + 4 written theme rounds of 3 questions each)
Debanjan Bose & Sachin Deshpande

1. Jayashree, Partha, Piyush -210
2. Shouvik, Prithwish, Deepanjan -165
3 (Joint) Udupa, Ramkey, Shashank and Alagar, Bhargava, Priyambad -143
5. Preetham, Manu, Navin -140
6. Naman, Ashwini, Aabhas -130
7. Abhinav, Jayant, Shaswat -120
8. Salil, Samrat, Anil -115
9. Prateek, Kunal, Siddanth -80

A vibrant quiz, hosted by a couple of great guys who must be among the most likeable quizzers and quizmasters in the country. Quiz showcased our Incredible India with its multiple facets. Entire quiz was efficiently conducted with no glitches, owing to a perfect jugalbandi of both the QMs.

Accessible elims, even for non-regular quizzers, which fitted well with the theme of the Fundraiser quizzes, plus QMs being gratuitous by giving hints like "alliterative answers" to further help teams.

Therefore the elims cut-offs were insanely high, and some heavyweight teams missed out narrowly.

The finalists had a generational spread with veterans like Jayashree di and Shouvik da along with college-goers in Naman's team. It could be attributable to the variety of questions in the elims from classics like Ashokan pillar heads and jharokas, to new gen stuff like Enjoy Enjaami and Pinjra tod, with googlies like the WTC Test Mace.

 The questions were top notch, with subtleties in framing like "hit show" hint for Jaspal Bhatti's still relevant noir comedy "Flop Show" or nickname clue for Chikoo and Chiclets, to a question linking Jahangir and Indira Gandhi political goals of "Garibi Hatao" to a tough one on Haflong Hindi, but brilliantly framed.

Also, Akhand bharat questions encompassing the Indian subcontinent with Z.A.Bhutto, Qurratulain Hyder , POK, Bangladeshi enclaves making appearances.

And no good India quiz is complete without its share of interesting food questions, here we had on Lal Maas, Bhaang dishes, gin etc but also stuff on temple kitchens and the legendary fast of Irom Sharmila.

Written round themes in finals were also quirky.

Bengali Theatre (with no Bangla bias as the answers were Mousetrap, Vincent Van Gogh and IPTA)

Food Origins

QMs also did a good job with the geographical spread of questions, with almost every state and region represented. Especially North East, which is oft-neglected.

Overall a very enjoyable Saturday afternoon, with entertaining quizzing. 

Fun Fact: We had participation of 74 teams, same as the years of India's independence!


Report By: Samrat Sengupta